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ArtOFocus k l a h o m a

Okl a ho m a V i s u al A r ts C o al i t i on

Vo l u m e 2 5 N o . 1

January/February 2010

Curtis Jones

Spell of Repetition


Drawing by Emma Ann Robertson.

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A new year, a new set of possibilities and promise. The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s new Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship beings this month with the inaugural twelve Fellows. These Fellows will complete a yearlong program, to learn from and network with nationally significant mentors working in the contemporary art field. OVAC received strong applications to participate, and I am honored to have been selected as one of the Fellows. I look forward to learning from the mentors, as well as my peers.

Through the application process, I was asked to answer why I wanted to participate. In my role as editor of Art Focus Oklahoma, I am always seeking ways to make this magazine a better resource for you, the reader, as well as a significant contributor to the dialogue about art in Oklahoma. I could not pass up the education and experience offered by the Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship. I’m also excited about sharing what I learn with the other contributors to this magazine, who play such an important role in its direction. Looking at the bigger picture, we hope that all the Fellows will be empowered through the process to create new writing and exhibitions that highlight the art in our state, as well as projects that examine the place that Oklahoman art has in the regional, national or international conversation. In turn, we also hope that you, the audience, will engage with these writings and exhibitions in a way that can expand your ideas about contemporary art. We invite you to join the Fellows for three public panels with our visiting mentors. The first is February 20, 1-3 pm at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. This panel, titled Writing About Art in Museums and Academia, will include Dr. Frances Colpitt, Professor and Deedie Potter Rose Chair of Art History at Texas Christian University; Dr. W. Jackson Rushing, III, Eugene Adkins Presidential Professor of Art History and the Mary Lou Milner Carver Chair in Native American Art in the OU School of Art & Art History; and Emily Stamey, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, at the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University. More information about upcoming public panels is online at As I’ve said, we are always working to make this magazine better for you and I’d like to invite your feedback through our online reader survey, found at through the end of February. Happy New Year.

Kelsey Karper

Art OFocus k l a h o m a Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition 730 W. Wilshire Blvd., Suite 104 Oklahoma City, OK 73116 ph: 405.879.2400 • e: visit our website at: Executive Director: Julia Kirt Editor: Kelsey Karper Art Director: Anne Richardson Art Focus Intern: Katie Seefeldt Art Focus Oklahoma is a bimonthly publication of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition dedicated to stimulating insight into and providing current information about the visual arts in Oklahoma. Mission: The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition supports visual artists living and working in Oklahoma and promotes public interest and understanding of the arts. OVAC welcomes article submissions related to artists and art in Oklahoma. Call or email the editor for guidelines. OVAC welcomes your comments. Letters addressed to Art Focus Oklahoma are considered for publication unless otherwise specified. Mail or email comments to the editor at the address above. Letters may be edited for clarity or space reasons. Anonymous letters will not be published. Please include a phone number. Art Focus Committee: Janice McCormick, Bixby; Don Emrick, Claremore; Susan Grossman, Norman; MJ Alexander, Stephen Kovash, Sue Moss Sullivan, and Christian Trimble, Oklahoma City. OVAC Board of Directors 2009-2010: R.C. Morrison, Bixby; Richard Pearson, Rick Vermillion, Edmond; Jennifer Barron, Susan Beaty, Stephen Kovash (President), Paul Mays, Suzanne Mitchell (Vice President), Carl Shortt, Suzanne Thomas, Christian Trimble, Elia Woods (Secretary), Eric Wright, Oklahoma City; Joey Frisillo, Sand Springs; Anita Fields, Stillwater; F. Bradley Jessop, Sulphur; Cathy Deuschle, Elizabeth Downing, Jean Ann Fausser (Treasurer) Janet Shipley Hawks, Kathy McRuiz, Sandy Sober, Tulsa. The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition is solely responsible for the contents of Art Focus Oklahoma. However, the views expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Board or OVAC staff. Member Agency of Allied Arts and member of the Americans for the Arts. © 2010, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. All rights reserved.

On the Cover Curtis Jones, Norman, Dandi #3, Watercolor and Screenprint on Paper, 28”x28”


View this issue online at



p ro f i l e s Spell of Repetition

University of Oklahoma assistant professor Curtis Jones discusses the inspiration and meaning behind his work.

7 Stillwater: An Artistic Oasis

An introduction to some of Stillwater’s visual artists, working in a variety of media and techniques.

11 The New Kid in Town: Mary Ann Prior


A glance at the future of City Arts Center under their new executive director, Mary Ann Prior.

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12 The Fifth Seven-State Biennial Exhibition

After opening in Chickasha, this exhibition will travel to Ardmore highlighting some of the best works from Oklahoma and the surrounding region.

14 Constructing Culture

An El Reno exhibition features the work of Aaron Hauck, who uses consumer waste as both inspiration and material.

16 Images of Quartz Mountain Grace OU Tulsa’s Schusterman Learning Center

Carol Beesley’s new paintings were recently unveiled, displaying the grandeur of southwestern Oklahoma.


18 A Breathtaking View of Infinity

Life as an artist in the rainforest captured by Debby Kaspari for exhibit at Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

20 Cycle of Exhibitions for 2010 at OKCMOA

The Oklahoma City museum takes a new focus with a series of contemporary art.

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22 Art in Public Places Mentorship Program

Three Oklahoma artists are gaining valuable experience for competing in the world of public art.

business of art

24 The Artist’s Social Networking Guide

How social networking sites can advance your art career.


26 Ask a Creativity Coach

Get a jump start on 2010 with helpful hints on how to organize your creative calendar.

at a glance

28 Ominus Clouds: The Paintings of Marc Barker

A recent exhibit at the Firehouse Art Center in Norman examines an artists’ view of The Illusion of Mattering.

OVAC news

29 Round Up | New & Renewing Members

30 g a l l e r y g u i d e


(p. 7) Eva Miller, Stillwater, Pastor Gerald, Oil on Canvas; (p.12) Mejo Okon, San Angelo, TX, The Brahma-Charollais, Oil on Canvas, 48”x36”; (p. 16) Carol Beesley, Norman, Winter, Oil on Canvas, 60”x60”; (p.22) Eric Wright, El Reno, Prophet, Concrete, Steel, Oil Enamel, Found Objects, 46”x28”x15”.


Curtis Jones, Norman, The Tunnel (detail), Burned Paper, 40”x40”

Spell of Repetition:

Curtis Jones

by Allison Meier

Patterns recur in all of Curtis Jones’ art, whether it’s the designs on a thousand miniature birthday hats or in the innumerable ashen dots on a canvas of hand-burned paper. It’s through the process of creating these repetitions that he brings personal meaning to what starts as plain paper. 4

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Curtis Jones, Norman, Making Light with Things (installation view), hand printed and fabricated miniature party hats

“It grows out of this visual idea that most people experience when they’re young, where kids see things in patterns and textures on rocks or walls,” he said. “I never lost that.” Jones lives in Norman, but grew up in Seattle and got his BFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington in 1994. He later moved to Oakland and got an MFA in Printmaking from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 2003 and taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, the Richmond Art Center and the California College of the Arts. After years of living on the West Coast, he started teaching at the University of Oklahoma School of Art and Art History in 2005 where he is now an assistant professor. The interaction with OU students who are working more outside of the artistic mainstream than those in California has increased his interest in outsider art. He also lists psychedelia, punk rock and surrealism as influences, while the techniques of printmaking, drawing, paper craft, decoration and pattern design guide his art.

“Do-it-yourself culture and punk rock is the base from which I do every project,” he said. “Psychedelia is also there with the color palettes I choose. I try to keep things high key and strongly experiential, so they are visually exciting.” His relocation to Oklahoma has worked into his artistic subjects, as with Stormy Day where he constructed a map of Moore and charted the path of the May 3, 1999, tornado using a tumultuous pattern of whirl shapes referencing Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night. He is currently working on a large group of miniature drawings based on the fight between the invasive kudzu vine and the native landscape. Despite the strong ideas in his art, it still retains a refined aesthetic beauty. “In terms of formal presentation, I keep it as simple as I can,” he said. “I take a lot of time to edit down to what’s essential.” One of his recent projects, Making Light with Things, came about after four years making miniature birthday hats.

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“I got the idea to make party hats not long after my mom passed away,” he said. “The way she relied on humor to cope with the world came out with how she wanted us to handle her funeral.” His mother requested that instead of a funeral, they honor her by throwing a party in her memory. Like her, Jones uses humor to cope with difficult situations and confronted his anxiety about the war in Iraq by arranging the hats into portraits of soldiers who died in Iraq on his birthday. Each portrait involved a grid of 1,600 cones and the photographs taken from above the arrangements are haunting suggestions of the young soldiers’ faces. He relates the process of creating repeating patterns in his art to meditation, using it to explore the thin line between Nirvana and insanity, ritual, obsession and psychosis. “I am attracted to outsider art and art of the insane,” he said. “Both insanity and enlightenment are based on that idea of making yourself do something for a long amount of time. Insane people are kind of stuck in repeating patterns, whereas meditators make themselves repeat the same thing.” Inspired by the tradition of family crests flanked by two rearing animals, his Encrusted project has two pen-and-ink drawings side by side. Dots and circles create the bodies of a cat, dog and chicken to represent each of his three sets of grandparents. The animals refer to his Grandpa Bailey, who suffered a stroke at 82 and spent the last 11 years of his life with his vocabulary reduced to just the names of those animals. “I don’t try to start with some deep idea in the beginning, it just comes out of process,” he said. “I’m looking, but I’m not sure what I’m looking for.” Images of his work and more information about Curtis Jones can be found at n

Allison Meier is a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She can be reached at


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(top) Curtis Jones, Norman, Encrusted (pt. 1: Cats), Ink Pen on Paper, two pieces 22”x30” each (bottom) Curtis Jones, Norman, The Stormy Day, Watercolor and Screenprint on Paper, hand cut and pinned to the wall, 96”x108”

Eva Miller, Stillwater, Balloongye, Stoneware with Mixed Media

stillwater: An Artistic Oasis by Lori Oden

Stillwater is much more than just a university and a football team. This article focuses on just a few of the artists that live and work there.

Helen Koons Gragert at her home studio

Stillwater proudly hosted the Oklahoma Arts Council’s annual statewide conference in October. Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis addressed the group and passionately discussed the importance of creativity. His commitment to creativity is evident in many of the projects he has planned, but most importantly, in his serving as the first chair of the Oklahoma Creativity Project. Stillwater is a great place to be for artists and art lovers. I recently had the opportunity to learn about just a few of the artists in Stillwater: Helen Koons Gragert, Jason Wallace, Judy Laine, Liz Roth, Eva Miller and Lou Hale. Each of these established artists represent the diverse media and creativity in Stillwater. Helen Koons Gragert Helen Koons Gragert describes herself as a colorist. Although she has experimented with color in watercolor and porcelain work, she is most dedicated to glassblowing. Working

out of a home studio, primarily in the fall, winter and spring, Helen creates vases, bowls, perfume bottles, paperweights, ornaments and more. She said, “For me, this medium of blazing furnaces, intense color and life of molten glass offer unsurpassed challenges of strength and control.” Teaching and operating the hot glass studio at the Multi Arts Center for many years allowed her to share her passion and pass along her knowledge. Now she spends most of her time working at her home studio where she makes objects for various places around the region. Currently, her work can be seen at the Color Connection Gallery (Tulsa), the Firehouse Art Center (Norman), Keel’s Creek Winery and Gallery (Eureka Springs, AR), Swedish Crafts (Lindsborg, KS), and the Wichita Museum of Art gift store. Eva Miller A highly respected artist, Eva has the awards to prove it. From Willmar, MN, continued on page 8

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she was selected as the Department of Art’s “Outstanding Senior” in the studio from Oklahoma State University in 2008. She also received the “Provost Award” and an “Honorable Mention” at the 2008 Annual Student Juried Exhibition in 2008. That is just to name a few of the most recent awards. Her resume is extensive for a recent graduate. Working in both oil and ceramics, Miller’s work is an expression of personal reflection; most recently from her experience in Uganda, Africa. The series began with oil, but developed into ceramics, and now a combination of two. She said, “The work reveals the spirit and character of some of the many individuals I met during my trip. Each culture on this earth has a special mystique, but some seem to draw my attention more than others.” With photographs, sketches, journal entries, interviews and memory at her fingertips, Eva creates conceptual or realistic thought-provoking interpretations. Lou Hale Sculptor Lou Hale has rented her workshop located just south of downtown Stillwater at the T. N. Berry Company property for over 11 years. She calls it the Studios at Berry Ponds, and shares it with five other artists. She said, “It is a quiet retreat where we can come and go at all hours, work and think, prepare mini-meals, and even nap when the muses are overcome by fatigue. Sculpture can be a messy process, but adequate storage, a tile floor, an outside door, good ventilation and a ground-floor location make the space ideal for what I do. I believe the collegiality of being in the same building with other artists is conducive to personal growth and better production.”

Lou seeks inspiration and values continued education at the local libraries, the Oklahoma State University Art Department and as a member of the Oklahoma Sculpture Society. She is passionate. “The subject remains intriguing and challenging with each new portrait I begin.” It is a good thing too, because she has completed over 175 individual portraits. Her work has been displayed in New York City; Scottsdale, AZ; and around Oklahoma. She has quite a few awards, as well. The Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, is her next goal; it is scheduled for 2011. Jason Wallace First exposed to photography in his father’s darkroom, Jason later worked in the darkroom where his father taught yearbook. Aside from photography, they also enjoyed playing computer games. When Jason entered college, he was torn between fine art and computer technology. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2003. With the advancements of digital photography, Jason was finally able to merge his love of computers and photography. Jason divides his work into two groups: before Italy and after Italy. With a bicycle as his means of transportation, his photographs were primarily of pedestrians. He recalls driving back and forth between Tulsa and Stillwater and Stillwater and Oklahoma City with friends and being uninspired by the landscape. After taking a painting class in Tuscany, Jason said he had his eyes opened to an entirely different world. “Every square inch of Tuscany was interesting! Every stone in the road, every brink in the wall of a thousand-year-old structure, and every

blade of grass contributed a spectacular bit of information to each of the works I created during those weeks. This included not only eight paintings, but over 900 photographs. After Italy, and back in Oklahoma, my former view of the landscape was effectively annihilated. I saw Oklahoma with new eyes.” Since then, Jason adds another 25,000 miles to his car every year discovering the landscape. For him, “Landscape photography is a study of ‘place’ – fixed location, which can be repeatedly visited. Ignoring human interference, lighting and atmospherics bring the only change from one day to the next. These transient effects add boundless variety to an already magnificent view.” Judy Laine Judy Laine considers herself a “Renaissance woman” mainly because she works in a variety of media, including oil, watercolor, colored pencil, clay, fiber, and photography. However, most of these different media are combined to enhance her art of hand-made paper. Judy said, “I enjoy borrowing from the world around me, finding vines, twigs, roots, leaves, blossoms and shells to incorporate into my artwork. I have harvested weeds and other materials from my uncle’s farm and roadsides. I am also fascinated with the effect Mother Nature can have on man-made objects, such as metal and cloth. I am always picking up what others might consider trash.” For Judy, the art of paper-making is not limited to the traditional materials. She experiments with flowers, plants, grasses, corn husks and weeds that can lend themselves to the fiber of the paper. Surrounding herself with all kinds of stuff in her studio, she feels she can be spontaneous and find joy in happy accidents.

Jason Wallace, Stillwater, Tired – Logan County, OK, Photography


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Liz Roth, Stillwater, Installation view of America 101, Oil

Liz Roth Liz Roth is a well-established artist who depicts social concerns in a humorous way. She said, “Whether it’s about co-workers functioning as a reluctant substitute family in the United States (Cheeseburger Soup, a series about Madison Department of Transportation workers), or how Americans perceive the relationship between beauty and weight (with a nude self-portrait a day project for six months)” she has an unmistakable style. Liz’s America 101 project took her to all 50 states, where she created scenes emphasizing environmental losses as a result of consumerism.

Brandi Twilley, Midwest City, Skeleton Models IV, Pencil, 8”x10”

(top) Jason Wallace, Stillwater, Moonrise, Gloss Mountains – Major County, OK, Photography (bottom) Judy Laine, Stillwater, Corn Husk Floral

In addition to her painting, Liz also takes exceptional photographs. One of her Low Visibility images was recently accepted for the National Juried Photography Competition that was juried by Julian Cox, Curator of Photography at High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Liz has been an artist-in-residence across the country and was the recipient of numerous grants, including the Wisconsin Arts Board Individual Fellowship, the National Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and Art 365 with the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

In addition to some of the individual artists here, the city also boasts the Multi Arts Center and will host its 33rd Annual Stillwater Arts and Heritage Festival on April 17 and 18, 2010. A call for artists is available at One will also find plenty of fun activities for a wonderful day-trip or weekend away in the near future to discover Stillwater. n

Lori Oden is the Executive Director of the Paseo Arts Association. Oden also serves as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma State University. She is an accomplished fine art photographer, specializing in nineteenth century processes. Oden can be contacted at

Lou Hale, Stillwater, Bronze sculptures

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THE 2010 COLLECTION It’s Central Oklahoma’s prized collection of 20 arts organizations. And it’s our annual fundraising campaign — your one gift supports them all!

405. 278 . 8944 ALLIEDARTSOKC .COM





POINTS OF Feb 4-March 12





F R E E OP EN IN G RECEP T ION WITH REFRES HM E N TS 4-6 p.m., Feb 4, Donna Nigh Gallery, Nigh University Center

This art exhibition pairs UCO students Abi Hopkins and Ariana Riera with their mentors, UCO Assistant Art Professors Barbara Broadwell and David Maxwell, to demonstrate how the student’s work has evolved. 10

The New Kid in Town:

Mary Ann Prior by Romy Owens

In the fall of 2009, City Arts Center in Oklahoma City welcomed Mary Ann Prior as their new executive director. In her short time, she has already set a course for City Arts’ future, started a film series in November, and will get her first taste of Café City Arts (their largest annual group exhibit and fundraiser) on Friday, January 29. I met Mary Ann in October just before the exhibits Moss & Rivers and Culti-Multural opened. Her passion for City Arts Center and her enthusiasm about its future were evident right away. I can’t wait to witness the evolution of what is one of the most important arts organizations in Oklahoma. RO: Will you provide a little insight as to how you came to live in Oklahoma City?  MP: Essentially, I was head hunted. I had an interview in London, another one in Oklahoma City, and then I was hired. RO: Before accepting the position as Executive Director at City Arts, where were you working and living? MP: I was the curator for Bank of America’s European art collection based in London, and I was in charge of acquisitions, in-house exhibitions and art related events throughout Europe. RO: What are the rewards/challenges to becoming the Executive Director of City Arts Center? MP: I saw this as an opportunity to direct the evolution of a respected arts organization, bringing in to Oklahoma City a more diverse exhibition program, and expanding the rate of educational programs. It was irresistible. How could I refuse? The challenge is to win over the hearts and minds of people who live in Oklahoma City, who fortunately seem very receptive. RO: What are the projects you are looking forward to at City Arts? MP: On the education side, I am particularly looking forward to working with local schools, colleges, and universities.   Regarding exhibitions, I am looking forward to finding artists who will look past the bi-coastal gallery scene, and having traveling exhibitions include Oklahoma City on their touring schedules. RO: Do you see significant changes in City Arts’ future? MP: Education has always been fundamental to City Arts Center’s endeavors and that will not change. There will be a greater range of options available to students including, for example, classes in dance and film. 

Mary Ann Prior, newly appointed Executive Director for Oklahoma City’s City Arts Center.

We want to expand our event programs too, but we’re still very much at the planning stage. The biggest change will be refining our identity, and increasing our visitor and student numbers. RO: Who are some of your favorite artists? MP: Julian Opie, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Demand, Sophie Calle, and Mona Hatoum. In the past Chardin, Modigliani, and the photographers Henry Fox Talbot and August Sander.  I have to include an English female traveler, writer and amateur artist who was in India in the first half of the 19th century, Emily Eden, because I’m writing a book about her. RO: What are some of your favorite galleries / art spaces / museums? MP: White Cube is a wonderful gallery in London’s West End and the White Chapel Gallery in the East End has consistently high quality shows. The Tate Modern, of course, but also Tate Britain. The Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Museum of Modern Art and the Met in New York. The list is endless. And the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, India. Pigeons fly around the gallery and sit on the paintings. Conservationally unsound, but unique in the modern art world.   RO: What do you think of Oklahoma City so far? MP: I like Oklahoma City: huge open space, clean air, uncrowded roads and the feeling of optimism in the air. It feels good to me. Mary Ann Prior can be reached at City Arts Center, 405.951.0000. n

Romy Owens can be reached via mental telepathy or through her website

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Ted Conley, Ardmore, Five Cherries, Oil on Canvas, 24”x18”

The Fifth Seven-State Biennial Exhibition by Susan Beaty Chickasha’s University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) again hosted the Seven-State Biennial Exhibition, a juried show limited to artists from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado, Arkansas, Texas and Missouri. The exhibit was on display in the Art Gallery at USAO from Oct. 10 through Nov. 27, before it traveled to the Charles B. Goddard Art Center in Ardmore where it remains on display until Jan. 30. Sara Waters, sculptor, performance artist and professor of art at Texas Tech University, juried the fifth Seven-State Biennial Exhibition. Artists submitted original works to the competition and Waters selected pieces by 39 artists from Seven-States. This year, $11,000 in cash prizes and purchase awards were made to artists in the Biennial. “As in previous years, the artists competing in the Seven-State Biennial have given us a diversely expressive and high quality body of artwork representing the region,” said Layne Thrift, associate director of


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the USAO Art Gallery. “For its size, this competition is one of the highest paying in the region.” The USAO Art Gallery is a small, warm and inviting space. The first piece I encountered was a large, brightly colored geometric painting, Untitled #5 by Noel Torrey. The vivid feast of color continued around a corner where I was drawn to Christie Blizard’s Light Compression, an engaging installation of plastic tubes, decorated with multi-colored tape and paint in stripes, dots and letters, and then filled with strings of lights. The bright tubes gently lean against the wall like a happy campfire. Another short hallway revealed Chance Dunlap’s beautiful metal sculpture, Gallo del Cielo, an abstract rooster-like figure. The diverse media represented in the show include watercolor, oil, acrylic, encaustic, collage, metal and ceramic sculpture, mixed media and photography. Mejo Okon’s large oil painting The Brahma Charollais

received honorable mention and is an interesting contrast of a massive, mildly foreboding cow, in a peaceful pose and painted a delicate white which literally and figuratively lightens the piece. Arlene Cason’s mixed media sculpture Prisoner in Disguise features a whimsical leg, apparently free to spring off of its pedestal, yet bound by prison stripes. Ted Conley’s painting Five Cherries won the first place prize. Conley’s simple still life shows amazing skill at conveying realistic color, light and shadow. Other highlights in the show include Stacy Elko’s painting All He Wanted, and Diana J. Smith’s mixed media Italian Spinoni. Trent Lawson’s piece Red #8 is another cool “chunky” painting, with bits of cloth and other materials peeking through the red caked paint to create an intriguing amorphous figure. While the exhibit is highly recommended, it is not without weaknesses. I found the watercolors and photography to be the less interesting

(ltop eft) Christie Blizard, Lubbock, TX, Light Compression, Acetate, Acrylic, Tape, Lights, Mylar, 72”x144” (top middle) Stacy Elko, Lubbock, TX, All He Wanted, Dry Point, Screenprint, 14”x20” (top right) Arlene Cason, Prisoner in Disguise, mixed media

elements of the show. Andy Myers’s Portrait of Nature was beautiful, but was simply an elm branch attached to the wall. The fifth Seven-State Biennial is a treat for art lovers in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition members are well-acquainted with the wealth of great artists we have here in the state and this exhibit proudly shows off that treasure, but it also offers a glimpse of some amazing art being created in the surrounding region. I felt enriched by the exhibit and enthused, yet again, about the strong art scene in Oklahoma. If you didn’t make it to the exhibit at USAO, I hope you won’t miss the opportunity to see this fantastic show while it’s in Ardmore. It’s a phrase we are lucky to hear often about exhibits, but the fifth Seven-State Biennial Exhibition is truly not to be missed. n

(above) Noel Torrey, Liberal, KS, Untitled #5, Oil on Canvas, 68”x68”

Susan Beaty is an attorney in Oklahoma City and a member of the OVAC Board.

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Aaron Hauck, Ada, 1985, mixed media

Constructing Culture by Cedar Marie

Redlands Community College in El Reno is hosting Rush Hour by artist Aaron Hauck through Jan. 29. Hauck, an Oklahoma native, uses post-consumer refuse and cultural debris littering urban and rural landscapes as inspiration and source material for his sculptures and digital montages. Hauck often employs commercial or historical iconography to reveal the ever-growing cultural implications between industry and nature. His work examines the relationships between consumer waste and its origins, exposing a complicated “subliminal advertising” projected onto both the landscape and the American psyche. Hauck is an assistant professor of art at East Central University in Ada. CM: Please talk about your show at Redlands Community College in El Reno. AH: My show is entitled Rush Hour. The theme regards our dependence on transportation methods and how these methods affect our culture and the environment. One of the pieces in the show, 1985, is a sculpture of a Happy Meal box with the 1980s Oklahoma license plate painted onto it. I moved to Oklahoma in 1985 as a child. Some of my earliest memories of Oklahoma are of riding in the backseat of a car on I-44 and seeing my dad replace the Missouri license plate with one from Oklahoma. My dad had been commuting from Missouri to his job in Oklahoma for over a year so I associated Oklahoma with time spent on the road. I was also given over to the allure of fast food and the idea that riding in a car was an opportunity to go to McDonalds. In this case, the Happy Meal box is a metaphor for identity and place. Even Smaller Footprints Have Larger Footprints is a sculpture of a Hummer made out of pink Styrofoam insulation. It comments on how deceivingly harmful some objects can be. On the surface it


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appears to be a child’s toy, but it depicts one of the most lavish and gluttonous vehicles on the road. Complementing these and other sculptures is a series of photomontages that represent similar concepts. CM: Like the photomontage The Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria. In this digital work, you create a relationship between history and contemporary consumer iconography. Can you talk about this link? AH: The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria parallels the influx of fatty fast food chains with the arrival of European explorers to the Americas. In both cases, the subject has proven to be a formidable adversary to an almost defenseless population. The piece began after observing paper cartons full of assorted fried foods at a local convenience store. Carefully lined up and stacked under heating lamps in an almost military like configuration, I envisioned these cartons to be like little ships poised to deliver savory goodness. That visual is what led me to think about Columbus’ fleet of ships, how they arrived and eventually severely altered the lives of the people they encountered. It’s important to understand that I am not on the outside looking in on this subject, and I unfortunately do not always refrain myself from foods like this. I am commenting on our culture’s coerced dependence and craving for fast, processed foods. My goal with work like this is not to attack those that may eat fast food, but to bring to light this lack of willpower that is so prevalent in our culture. CM: Talk about your interest with the refuse of our time. When did this fascination begin? AH: My fascination and annoyance with the refuse created from consumer products began when I was young. I have always been

appalled by the massive impact that everyday products we purchase and consume have on the environment. When buying a tube of toothpaste for instance, one also receives a box the tube fits into and a plastic sack that the box fits into. The box, the sack, and the tube are all disposable. They either end up in a landfill, become litter, or are rarely recycled. CM: What compelled you to introduce discarded materials, both physically and thematically, in your work? AH: I hadn’t thought about using these materials until after graduate school when I returned to Oklahoma and realized the potential. Graduate school in Bozeman, MT was an eye-opener! The environment is held in such high regard in comparison with this part of the country, in my opinion. Before moving to Bozeman, I worked at an electronics store in Missouri and got a job at this company’s Bozeman location. On the surface, the two stores were identical, but I did notice one subtle difference. At the Missouri location, we put everything purchased into plastic sacks by default; that was not the case in Montana. After months of contemplating this, I asked a customer if they wanted a sack and the response was “no.” The customer explained that the sack wasn’t needed and could blow away in the Montana wind and get stuck on a tree. Upon moving back to Oklahoma, the amount of litter and wastefulness here became even more apparent to me. CM: How do you see these materials, and your work, commenting on our cultural climate? AH: The use of expended consumer packaging and other similar materials is an attempt to raise awareness about the superfluous commercial waste that we deal with on a daily basis. The materials and objects are typically consumed in excess by our culture and are seemingly useless at the point at which I utilize them. Other materials are non-biodegradable and comment on how companies select materials that are cheap and convenient without always thinking of the long-term repercussions to the environment. At the same time, we, as consumers, seem to accept this wastefulness, and seem to perpetuate the cycle.

(top)Aaron Hauck, Ada, The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, photomontage (bottom) Aaron Hauck, Ada, Even Smaller Footprints Have Larger Footprints, pink Styrofoam insulation

CM: What would you like your viewers to bring away from your exhibition? AH: My intention is to comment on the characteristics of our culture as they pertain to consumerism and how these characteristics in turn effect the environment. I want the show to be both entertaining and thought provoking. Humor and irony are used as methods to express this message. Learn more about the artist at n

Cedar Marie makes art and writes. She is a Professor of Art at the University of Oklahoma.

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Carol Beesley with her installation of paintings at OU Tulsa’s Schusterman Learning Center.

Images of Quartz Mountain Grace OU Tulsa’s Schusterman Learning Center by Sheri Ishmael-Waldrop When imagining the landscape of southwestern Oklahoma, many envision the subtle tones of the sandstone boulders or the deep green of the pine trees. Artist Carol Beesley’s use of detail, vivid rich oils, and shading as the sun moves across the rocky terrain, brings her interpretation of this area to life. Beesley, professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma (OU), was commissioned by the new Schusterman Center at OU’s Tulsa campus to create a series of four panels for permanent installation. The dedication ceremony and reception were held in November in the lobby where they are prominently displayed. OU President David Boren gave Beesley creative license to select a topic depicting Oklahoma and to use her vision to create the installation. For six months Beesley painted the canvases at her former studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and then they were shipped to Tulsa for hanging. Beesley has since returned to Norman, where she is teaching again at OU.


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The choice of subject was a natural one for the artist. “Quartz Mountain is a place I’ve visited numerous times as a student and as a teacher,” said Beesley in a recent interview with Dr. Alan Atkinson, former student and now colleague at OU. “The beauty of the place and what it represents to countless Oklahomans and their experiences in the arts makes it extraordinary. The distance makes going there a kind of pilgrimage.” The role of artist as historian/preservationist is one that Beesley has grown into over the course of her career, Atkinson said. “I’ve always been attracted to the solidity of the earth, for the most part unadorned by trees,” said Beesley. “The rocks, earth and sky say permanence, the shape of things. I like that what I paint is very old and witness to human history.” She added, “I grew up on Zane Gray, have been a lifelong member of the Sierra Club, I love to camp and hike and have a special interest in both photographs and paintings of the nineteenth century

(top) Carol Beesley, Norman, Autumn, Oil on Canvas, 72”x96” (middle) Carol Beesley, Norman, Spring, Oil on Canvas 60”x60” (bottom) Carol Beesley, Norman, Summer, Oil on Canvas, 60”x60”

American landscape with their Edenic visions of the American west.” While her paintings may ratchet up the color several notches, they scrupulously maintain fidelity to the forms, Atkinson said. In Beesley’s paintings fidelity to form is a characteristic that allows viewers to say, “Yes, I’ve been there.” Beesley painted the installation from photographs she created while visiting the area. She said the image is then laid out using a grid before she begins placing the oil on canvas. She strives to use the information and detail of the landscape as it is found, and then calls upon her sense of color to produce very expressive images. “I have never painted a landscape from memory. Every one of my paintings begins with a reference to a specific place, and more often than not it’s a place that I have been and love,” she said. “I’ve been (to Quartz Mountain) in all four seasons, which became a natural choice for these four paintings.” When viewing this series of paintings the viewer is transported to this specific place by the sense of open space and the strong light, the water and rocky hills jutting out of Lake Altus, Atkinson said. “More than any other place on earth, the idyllic American landscape remains a metaphor for our optimism and hope even as those sacred places we love are transformed and diminished,” Beesley said. Permanence, texture and depth are created through detail and shading of the foreground, while the insertion of smooth, fluid, colors in the sky and water create flow and movement. Atkinson said color has a primal appeal to the viewer and plays an important role in their lives. Beesley is not restricted by color, but more to her feeling and desire for meaning. Her use of high key color creates an emotional response, allowing the audience to draw their own conclusion, meaning and significance. “For Beesley, color is obviously not a subtle exercise,” said Atkinson. “For this series of paintings depicting the landscape around Lake Altus she has used the underlying coloration of the ancient granite core of that landscape as a unifying element. Her more acidic palette serves to highlight her passionate ties to the land she loves.” “For her, color is the clarion that calls us to heed the transient phenomena that is the beauty of the American southwest,” he said. “It is not only the sunset that is fading away.” n

Sheri Ishmael-Waldrop is a freelance writer, art and journalistic photographer and a co-op artist with Water Street Art Gallery in Sapulpa, OK.


A Breathtaking View of Infinity by Susan Grossman


The first thing you hear entering Drawing the Motmot: An Artist’s View of Tropical Nature by Norman nature artist Debby Kaspari, is the noise. It’s reminiscent of a hot Oklahoma night filled with the symphonic sounds created by millions of cicadas, only this is louder. Press a green button and out comes the thunderous roar of a tree branch crashing to the ground. As just two of the many parts of this multisensory exhibition, the goal is to transport us from the prairie to the tropical rainforest without ever boarding a plane. “I wanted this to be more than just an art exhibit,” Kaspari explained. “I wanted to share the environment as I see and feel it. I wanted to bring a visitor into the rainforest and give them a chance to connect with it the way I do, through artwork and media.” By that measure, she has more than succeeded. Mounted at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, the exhibit recreates her expeditions to the rainforests of Central and South America. Featuring sketchbook pages with notes, field drawings, pen-and-ink studies and studio paintings, the exhibit is accompanied by Kaspari’s field notes and commentary. In addition are audio and video recordings of the artist at work. Using a high-tech audio recorder the size of a cell phone, Kaspari captured the myriad of diverse rainforest sounds. “Getting to record those sounds and bring that stuff back was almost as much fun as drawing,” she said. “I am a musician also so, to me, sound is a really big deal. As far as the experience goes, I get a really big kick out of all of those sounds that you hear out there.” Most recently, she traveled to the Amazon River to work at a research station deep in the rainforest of Peru, courtesy of a fellowship from the Don and Virginia Eckelberry Endowment. An elevated walkway linking 14 trees through a system of platforms and rope bridges allowed her to draw the many amazing aspects that make up what some call “the jewels of the Earth.” The exhibit features a variety of her work from the many trips she has taken to the tropics and was four years in the making.

“I thought it would be a natural, given the museum’s mission in natural history, outreach and education,” Kaspari said. “What a really interesting way of exploring the connection between art and science, which is what I do with my work. I came up with the proposal, submitted it and the museum liked the idea. It turned out to be a four-year wait to get the actual show mounted.”

said. “I have the feeling that birds must represent something, I don’t know what, but it is not something I could ever put into words.”

Kaspari often travels with her husband, Mike, a tropical ecologist. Her three-week trip to the Amazon in Peru, a place she had never been but always wanted to go, was no exception. While he worked on scientific experiments, she packed up her portable studio and headed out into the rainforest.

Susan Grossman is assistant director of marketing and communication at University of Oklahoma Outreach and a regular contributor to a number of local and regional lifestyle and sports magazines.

The majesty of the Kaspari’s experiences can be experienced at the museum through Jan. 18. n

Traveling as an artist, particularly to such a wet climate, is a bit of a challenge. Kaspari had to consolidate her supplies as she faced certain weight restrictions. She laughed and said she went as far as she could on the trails, considering all of the stuff she was carrying with her. Her choice of paper and pencil were also carefully considered and she limited her use of color. “This trip turned out to be a very productive one,” she said. “The fellowship was for tropical bird art, which is an unusual kind of a grant. I used that time to draw birds to the point of not doing anything else.” Facing the notorious critters, snakes and such we often hear about does not faze Kaspari. In fact, she said, the only snakes she saw were small tree snakes. More bothersome were the flanks of sweat bees that at times covered her face and got under her eyelids, army ants and spiders with rather large fangs. The bigger problem is dehydration. “It is so hot and you are sweating profusely, constantly,” she said. “After awhile you don’t notice but you have to keep drinking. You have no idea the kind of thirst you feel, like your entire body is thirsty. The rainforest is very physically demanding.”

(left page) Debby Kaspari, Norman, Blue Rondo, Harpy Eagle, Pastel and Graphite on Paper, 30”x22” (above) Debby Kaspari, Norman, Trash Basket Palm, Plein Air Panama, Pastel and Graphite on Paper, 24”x18”

Yet, she adds, she really likes it. “There are a lot of wacky things about it [the rainforest] but when you sit and look across the Amazon basin, the sunrise and the colors, plants, flowers, and these insane little birds, these incredible little jewels…” Kaspari

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Ippolito Caffi (Italian, 1809-1866). View of Santa Maria della Salute from the Ponte dell’Accademia, Venice, Oil on Canvas, 15”x18.5”, a part of the Allure of La Serenissima exhibition.

Cycle of Exhibitions for 2010 at OKCMOA by Katie Seefeldt The Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s (OKCMOA) schedule of exhibitions for 2010 consists of four major shows developed and produced by the museum. While introducing works by living artists, highlighting the art of costume design, and presenting seventeenth-century Venetian art, these exhibits will undoubtedly delight guests and challenge visitors to broaden their conception of art, what it can be, and how it is produced.

The focus of the series is to introduce the community to the exceptional work of contemporary artists and to current perspectives in the field. Glen Gentele, president and director of the OKCMOA says, “NEW FRONTIERS will provide a framework for the exchange of ideas between the museum, artists, and the community and will dovetail with the current holdings of the museum’s permanent collection.”

Exhibitions begin as the idea of a curator, who has to consider the museum’s interest in enriching lives through art, and while curating is essentially about the art, it’s also about so many other things.

The first artist to be featured in the Series will be Brooklyn-based artist Jason Peters, whose solo exhibition titled Anti.Gravity.Material. Light will be on view from Jan. 28 – April 11. Peters will create his large-scale, lit sculptures on-site, using readymade materials, and will be in residence at the museum for three weeks to complete the show. In the words of writer, critic and artist Georgia Kotretsos, “He [Jason Peters] is a builder, a maker, and a worker who often turns trash into precious and delicate structures by using modular elements, which he then interconnects like building blocks to create entirely new forms. His large organic, illuminated structures are playful and light. Somehow they seem easy, as if the artist simply gestured with his hands

Curators oversee each step of the process. They research the artworks and artists, plan budgets, work with lending institutions, and assist in the design of the exhibition. Their job also consists of working with the education department to transmit the ideas of the exhibition to the public. The first exhibition to be presented at the OKCMOA in 2010 will be the inaugural installation of a new program titled NEW FRONTIERS Series for Contemporary Art.


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in space.” Peters will fill the museum’s 6,000 -square-foot temporary exhibition gallery with several of his installations. The second installment of NEW FRONTIERS will open on Sept. 18, and will spotlight one of Oklahoma’s own artists, Jonathan Hils, professor of sculpture in the department of art and art history at the University of Oklahoma. Hils is in the process of executing plans for his exhibition, which will be installed in the museum’s third floor galleries. Hils’ show opens concurrently with The Allure of La Serenissima: Eighteenth-century Venetian Art. (See more about this exhibition below.) Following the first installment of NEW FRONTIERS will be Sketch to Screen: The Art of Hollywood Costume Design. The exhibit will feature costumes from Hollywood films and is co-curated by Jennifer Klos, associate curator, and Brian Hearn, film curator. The show will run from May 6 – Aug. 15, and will highlight costumes that are important to the history of film and fashion. The exhibition will enlighten people on the artistic merit of costume design and will emphasize the role of costume designers.

(top right) Marlene Dietrich in Desire, Paramount Pictures, 1936, Costume design by Travis Banton, a part of the Sketch To Screen exhibition.

To show how costume design can fall into the traditional notion of art, the exhibition will present the artists’ sketches, allowing the visitor to trace the designers’ creative process from start to finish. Klos said, “The designers’ sketches are at the origin of each piece. Execution of the costume, therefore, requires art knowledge and skill. We hope that people see the costumes not only as the final product but also from their origins as a sketch. Visitors to the exhibition should also keep in mind that the designer had to be aware of how a costume would look in two dimensions and in the moving image.” As film is the major underlining element of the show, the exhibition will also highlight the importance of film in the twentieth century. The museum has chosen to display moving images and film stills alongside the artists’ sketches and documents. Opening in September will be a grand exhibition titled The Allure of La Serenissima: Eighteenth-century Venetian Art, curated by Hardy George, consulting curator. The exhibition focuses on views of Venice from the eighteenth-century — when the city was a popular stopping point on the Grand Tour. While the exhibition highlights major artists of the Baroque period, like Tiepolo and

Canaletto, it also highlights artists who are less well known to us today but were thriving in the eighteenth-century. The exhibition will give Oklahomans the opportunity to see the works together, a rare treat considering the paintings are scattered throughout many museum and private collections, and not one collection houses a complete representation of these works.

Jason Peters, Brooklyn, No More No Less, at White Flag Projects, St. Louis.

The Allure of La Serenissima will be on view in the galleries from Sept. 9, 2010 –Jan. 2, 2011, and will complete the cycle of exhibitions for the year, giving Oklahomans an opportunity to experience artistic concepts that have not yet graced the walls of the museum. For more information about OKCMOA, visit n

Katie Seefeldt is an intern at OKCMOA and at OVAC. She recently graduated with a Masters in Art History from the University of Georgia, where she specialized in Italian renaissance and baroque art.

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Eric Baker, Owasso, Golden Bliss, Kiln-formed Glass, Steel, Agate, 114”x96”x124”

Art in Public Places Mentorship Program by Lisa Prior In 2005 when Debby Williams was appointed the first Director of the State of Oklahoma: Art in Public Places Program, Oklahoma ranked in the lower half of states with public art funding. Clearly, Williams had a long hill to climb. Her efforts have proven to be very effective and as of this writing, she has seen the completion of four major commissions with 22 other projects in various stages of development. “Within the next two years,“ says Williams, “we will have a public art program on the scale of Texas and Colorado.” Yet for Williams there was one thing lacking. “Oklahoma has great talent but we were not seeing enough of our own artists applying for these commissions.” Putting Oklahoma artists into these commissions is merely the A-side of Williams plan; her ultimate goal sees Oklahoma artists successfully competing for national public art commissions. To see this ambition realized, though, a pool of Oklahoma artists with real-time public art experience would need to be created.


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After a series of public art workshops failed to address the problem, Williams had the idea of creating a mentorship program. In Julia Kirt, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC), Williams found an enthusiastic partner and together they created the framework for the Public Art Mentorship Program, which would offer artists without public art experience the opportunity to work with a mentor who could guide them through the whole process. “We wanted the best of the best for our mentor and Lynn Basa was at the top of our list,” said Williams. “Not only has she literally written the book on public art, she is also in the unique position of knowing about our regional culture after completing a public art commission in Vinita, Oklahoma.” Basa’s 2008 book The Artist’s Guide to Public Art navigates the warrens of logistical and bureaucratic challenges presented by this genre. Without funding, however, the program was just a really good idea. OVAC put out the

word and found a private benefactor with a shared belief in Oklahoma artists to underwrite the program. OVAC’s relationship to the art community at-large yielded a healthy response to the call for artists, just as Williams and Kirt had hoped. Next, the list of applicants was winnowed down to three artists who were each assigned a public art project through the Art in Public Places program. Eric Wright of El Reno makes sculptures in cast concrete and steel, materials that lend themselves to his commission for the Oklahoma Transit Authority (OTA) in Chickasha. To date, his pieces have been small studio-sized works with concrete castings no larger than a square foot. For sometime now, Wright has wanted to work on a larger scale. “I felt confident that I could go to the next level on my own through trial and error, but with a mentor I feel I can take bigger risks.” “I’ve always thought about submitting proposals for public art commissions, but I felt overwhelmed. This program is what it

took to make me take the plunge,” said metal artist Dan Garret of Choctaw. Garret, who was raised in a small town near McAlester where he will be working with the OTA, looks forward to being in a more inclusive environment. “This will be a totally different experience for me. I will move into a more managerial role. I won’t be alone in my studio making all the decisions.” Like the others, Owasso glass and metal artist Eric Baker was ready for a new challenge. “I thought about applying for public art commissions but always found a way to talk myself out of it. There are so many considerations: safety, insurance, longevity, hail damage, the list goes on.” Baker will be working with OTA in Vinita. Mentor Lynn Basa is on the faculty of The School of The Art Institute of Chicago where she teaches public art. Basa said that “about 90 percent of mentoring is keeping artists from being crippled by self-doubt. So, I hope the artists will contact me when they get stuck and I’ll help them through it.” She

Eric Wright, El Reno, Struggle for Freedom, Concrete, Asphalt, Steel, Wood, 20”x39”x12”

made her first visit to Oklahoma to meet face to face with her mentees in November. The corporate sector has long known the economic value of public art where wellconceived projects increase tourism and strengthen public relations. The government sector is starting to catch on. Between 2005 and 2009 government funded public art programs have increased from 350 to 500. In addition to the tourism generated revenue, public art projects have the ability to create better social cohesion which has a soft-cost benefit to the community.

Basa said, “Public art practice doesn’t have to be a mystery that each of us has to stumble through ourselves. Artists should be focusing as much of their time as possible on making art without having to reinvent the learning curve of how to navigate the business of public art.” n

Lisa Prior used to make funny conceptual art videos but is now writing sitcoms during an extended stopover in OKC.

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The Artist’s Social Networking Guide by Callie Campbell When artist Maeghan Hadley (@Maeghan on her Twitter profile) was laid off from her job as a graphic designer six months ago, she was not thrilled that she had to take a job outside her field of expertise. She wanted a job related to the arts, and through hard work, patience and social networking, she found one at the Oklahoma City Coworking Collaborative (OKC CoCo). Hadley is just one of many people using social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Myspace to find contacts, find freelance work or land jobs in today’s competitive job market. What Sites to Use Web sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn have exploded over the past few years, with 30 percent of the world population visiting a social networking site in 2008, according to the “Global Face and Networked Places” report by the Nielsen Group. This has opened a lot of doors for artists trying to build names for themselves, allowing opportunity to network and find out about upcoming events.


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“Social networking is the future,” said Dirk Hooper, an artist and photographer from Oklahoma City who also conducts lectures on business and marketing strategies for artists. “It may not look like it does now, and it will probably be more integrated with your cell phone, or your computer, or your television, but social networking is here to stay.” Hooper also operates a website at that he directs potential clients to using social networking. There have been numerous sites like that have popped up to help job seekers find work using Twitter. Many new social networking sites aimed at self-promoting artists have popped up recently as well. has become a hotspot for crafters and those seeking crafts and original artwork. Humblevoice. com,, and all offer traditional social networking for artists looking for a platform to display their work. is a social networking site that encourages artists to submit T-shirt designs which are voted on by community members.

Another site is, for art collectors to meet online and discuss artists, artwork, and the art industry. It is a good place for artists to study the buyers. Why Social Networking is Important “I know a lot of people laugh at the whole idea of social networking, but really, now it has become imperative,” Hadley said. “Because there is a whole underground world of arts that people don’t know exists until they network.” “Social networking online and in person through volunteering or joining organizations is the best way to get a leg up in today’s job market,” according to Heather Dutcher Spencer, a Career Services counselor at the University of Oklahoma who advises students on how to take advantage of social networking opportunities. People are becoming more cautious of whom they will refer to hiring managers, and they want to get to know people first, she said. Spencer suggests that LinkedIn is the most professional site for job hunters, but all sites should be utilized in a professional manner.

Web sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn have exploded over the past few years, with 30 percent of the world population visiting a social networking site in 2008. Can Social Networking Really Help You Find Work?

Hadley met the owner of OKC CoCo through her Twitter account. After helping him with several side projects as a volunteer and getting to know him, he offered her a job connecting with artists in the community and spreading the word about the collaborative, according to Hadley. Hadley also finds all of her freelancing work through social networking sites, she said. She has learned about artists, groups and people that she never would have known about otherwise. Hooper claimed, “I can specifically cite my recent exhibitions in Brussels, Belgium; Utrecht, the Netherlands and Allentown, PA as examples of shows that I got directly from using social networking sites.” Tips for Success Hooper warned people working in the arts not to expect online sites to do all of your promotion work for you. You still need to meet people, carry business cards, mail marketing materials and call people to be successful, he said. Hooper admitted that results can be difficult to track directly sometimes. Covering as many bases as possible creates the most advantages for artists, he said.

Building a successful social network doesn’t just happen overnight, Spencer said. It’s good to start out just receiving updates and getting to know people, then you can slowly involve yourself in different projects, she said.

his own activities.

There are two extremes that will turn people off of your social networking sites, according to Hadley. Some people will write entirely on their profession, and people get bored or don’t want to read someone promoting themselves all day, she said. The other extreme is to post every time you are eating or walking down the street.

Promoting other people will also get you business by helping to build a strong network, Hadley said. People will remember that, and in the future, if they have a project, you will be the first person they call, she said.

Finding a middle ground is crucial; networkers need to be professional and social to find readers and keep them, Hadley suggested. It is also important to fulfill commitments you make to build accountability, she said. How to Use Social Networking At OKC CoCo, Hadley uses social networking for meeting other artists and learning about what is going on in the community. She believes it is a good way to meet people and build mutually beneficial relationships. Social networking can also be used to expand your reach and develop relationships from afar, according to Dirk Hooper. He has garnered attention overseas through his social networking sites, and uses them to keep up with the local and international art communities as well as to update people on

“Stick with it and it will happen,” Hooper said. “Do searches, make connections and engage in honest conversations. It will pay off.”

The OKC CoCo, located on historic Automobile Alley in Oklahoma City, offers plenty of opportunities for in person networking also. A calendar of events can be found at their Web site n Callie Campbell is a freelance writer and artist based in Norman. She has experience in editing, marketing, technical writing and blogging. Follower her on Twitter @CallieCampbell.

The Oklahoma City Coworking Collaborative at 723 N. Hudson Ave. in Oklahoma City.

(left) Maeghan Hadley at the OKC CoCo. (right) Dirk Hooper, Oklahoma City photographer who uses social networking to promote his artwork.

business of art


Ask a Creativity Coach Dear Romney, It’s the start of a new year and I’m willing to make a few resolutions concerning my career but I don’t want to be overwhelmed with commitments. Any recommendations? —Realist Dear Realist, We’ve all fallen into the resolutions trap. How about a creative spin on the idea? Instead of committing to a list of resolutions, commit to a single action per month to feed your creative spirit. Here are twelve ideas for the New Year. January: Network Go to an art show opening and meet people who are interested in the arts. February: Inspiration See an exhibit at a local museum. Record your ideas for future works. March: Volunteer March is Youth Art Month. Offer to give a free talk at your local library or school.


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by Romney Nesbitt

April: Read Learn about the creative process. I recommend Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland. Of course, the author of this column highly recommends Secrets from a Creativity Coach! May: Learn Sign up for a summer workshop or class. June: Investigate Drive to a nearby city and visit local galleries and museums. You might find a new place to exhibit your work. July: Socialize Throw a party. Show a movie about a wellknown artist or writer. Google “movies about art, artists, painters and sculptors” for ideas. Have an after-movie discussion. August: Nature Use one of our extra long summer evenings to take a walk. Listen to the sounds of the night. September: Educate Relive that first day of school feeling. Pretend you’re working on a book report on a favorite artist. Check out a stack of books at the library

and become an expert on Rothko or Kahlo. October: Fun Invite your friends over for a pumpkin carving contest. The winning carver takes all. November: Gratitude Make a thank-you list—one item for every day of the month. Move into the holiday season with a thankful heart. December: Reconnect Walk a labyrinth. A labyrinth is a maze-like walking path used for introspection. Visit to find a labyrinth close to you. You can walk a heart-shaped outdoor labyrinth in Tonkawa, OK. Don’t let the idea of resolutions keep you from setting small, easy to manage goals. One action per month can move you closer to your career goals. n Romney Nesbitt is a Creativity Coach, artist and writer living in Tulsa. She is the author of Secrets From a Creativity Coach, available on Amazon. com. Romney welcomes your questions for future columns. Contact her at, or at

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Marc Barker, Oklahoma City, Ominus Clouds, Oil on Masonite, 12”x36”

At a Glance

ominus clouds: The Paintings of Marc Barker by Elizabeth T. Burr Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind. – “The Marble Faun” - Nathaniel Hawthorne A notable exhibition of paintings by Marc Barker recently ended at the Firehouse Art Center (FAC) in Norman. In the statement accompanying the FAC show, Barker let’s us know that “these paintings are from a series entitled The Illusion of Mattering, which embodies metaphors and their relation to personal icons, the signifiers that we retain and become the core of our stories.” The artist chose subjects that have resonance for him: caves (Landscape), clouds (Ominus Clouds), the movement of clouds across a landscape (Procession), and even a magical depiction of the moon as it traverses the sky (Transit). The more the viewer studies these “icons,” the more universal they seem to become. This transformation from private to public meaning is partly the response of the techniques used by the artist. Barker has painted his pieces in a grisaille manner. Grisaille is the name given to “a method of painting solely in shades of monochrome grey or another neutral colour.” [Oxford Concise Dictionary of Art Terms] Barker uses a brown-toned monochromatic palette, which enhances the hauntingly timeless quality of his images: they deal with his personal icons by locating them in a neutral, dreamlike landscape. This is a country we probably have all visited.


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Most of Barker’s works are painted with oil on masonite, sometimes with the use of collage elements, and even the manipulation of his fingers. Barker is also a skilled printmaker. He managed the Paseo Intaglio Printers in Oklahoma City along with artist Sharon J. Montgomery. One of his graphic pieces, Transit, is made as a digital and intaglio collaged combo print. This last print reveals another theme explored by Barker’s work - the passage of time. Transit, Procession, and Decomposition of a Skull are all images that engage the viewer in following the movement in time of subjects across a canvas or print. We may not be able to interpret the complete meaning behind the private icons of this artist, but the depiction of the moon or clouds moving across a horizontal landscape is a memento mori for all of us here living in time. For those who missed this show, Barker’s work can be seen through Jan. 10 at La Baguette Bistro in Oklahoma City, or on his website at n

Elizabeth T. Burr has a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Cambridge. She currently lives in Norman and writes on artists, shows and art techniques on a freelance basis.

Marc Barker, Oklahoma City, Riddled, Oil on Masonite, 40”x40”

Round Up

January/February 2010

The Momentum Tulsa exhibition shone in October with excellent artwork, strong volunteer leaders, and thoughtful curators. Thanks to Grace Grothaus & Geoffrey Hicks for Co-Chairing the event, which is like a part time job. Thanks also to Scott Perkins and Frank Wick who served as our fearless curators, Living Arts for the fabulous location, and our sponsors Wimgo, Joe Momma’s and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

community aspect of OVAC: committees, collaborations and statewide networks. Jake Foster, a history student at University of Central Oklahoma, was our first event-focused intern, offering his assistance primarily to set up the 12x12 event. Katie Seefeldt, art historian, ably interned with this magazine through writing, editing, distributing and being an all-around asset. Thanks interns, please keep in touch!

OVAC relies heavily on interns for our creativity and day-to-day operations. We had a bumper crop of capable interns this fall, many of whom thankfully will continue to volunteer on our future programs. Sarah Clough Chambers’ multitalented help was especially employed in her well-written blog posts and excellent database work. Candace Coker, photographer and super volunteer, is helping coordinate the launch of the new Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship program and is serving as curatorial intern for the Momentum OKC Spotlight. Ashley Romano, an art major at University of Central Oklahoma, helped with a variety of programs from Momentum Tulsa jury to organizing artist proposals for Art 365. Brittney Guest, a public administration masters student at the University of Oklahoma, immersed herself in the

The Oklahoma Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship program launches in January with the inaugural 12 Fellows’ orientation. Program lead Shannon Fitzgerald has designed the novel curriculum to encourage regional writers, build professional networks and spur quality curatorial projects about Oklahoma visual artists. Our program partners are The School of Art & Art History at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The first public program will be February 20, 1-3 pm Writing About Art in Museums and Academia at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. See more information on our website Please join us in this new dialogue about art in our area. n

Thank you to our New and Renewing Members from September and October 2009 Marumi Abe Robert Adams Emily Al Jennifer Alden Stuart Asprey Alan and Susan Atkinson Phyllis and Darrell Baker Kimberly Baker Valerie Banes Bjorn and Laura Bauer Doug Bauer Larry Beauford Linda and Brent Beebe Ellen Berney Doris J. Bewley Mandy Black M. Tim Blake Elyse Bogart B. Queti Bondy Betty C. Bowen Susan Brock Whitney Brune Milissa Burkart Lauren Burt Brittany Butler Stan Carroll Katelyn Cealka Sarah Clough Chambers Jeffrey Chemerinsky Lisa Chronister Dian Church Chuck and Heidi Cohn Gael Collar Karen L. Collier and John Calabro

Olen Cook Valeria Cordero Linda and Ian Coward Janey Carns Crain Michael Cromaz Bob Curtis Jennie M. Curtis Vandrea Davis Glenn Herbert Davis Elizabeth Davis Adrienne De Los Dernier Dorothy Dinsmoor Heather Dixon Lukas Dollarhide Meredith Downing Richard P. Dulaney Megan Dunbar Clara Edmon Mallory Edwards Tiffany English Dixie Erickson Sandra Fendrych Beverly K. Fentress Becky Foust Gus Friedrich and Erena Rae Joey Frisillo Matt Goad Alaine Godsey Duke Goulden Kari Grant Amanda Green Liz Green James E. Greenlee II Julie Greenwood

Susan Grossman Dodie Guffy Lou Moore Hale Aaron Hauck Teresa Herndon Russell Herrera Jr. Sean Higgins Heather Clark Hilliard Diann Harris Howell James J. Huelsman Anna and Cory Hughes Courtney Hunnicutt Sean Jackson Kate Jackson Nikki Janzen Matt Jarvis Carson Jobe Allison Jones Paula Jones Emily Kern Robert Kinney Karen Kirkpatrick Jordan Kistler Jacquelyn Knapp Brenda Koscelny Catheryn Koss Leonard Krisman Terry La France Jean Langford Debbie Langston Tom E. Lee Bobby Lee Rosie Leonard Mark and Laura Ann Lewis

Tony Li Monika Linehan Andre Llanes Jean Lombardo Jean Longo Jimmy Lovett Chris and Laveryl Lower Brandi Ludden Jan Maddox Jamie Mangelinkx Cynthia Manning Cedar Marie Josh Mars Delma Martin Traci Martin Morgan McBratney Kenny McCage James McDaniel Joni McKim Jack Melton Andrea Miles Jessica Milliman Sheila Minnich Danford Mitchell Jason and Nicole Moan Nicole Moan Sharon J. Montgomery Suzanne and Ken Morris William and Janie Morris Debbie Musick Kelie Myers David Nees Joe and Kim O’Connor John and Jacqueline Odgers

Daonne Olson Byron O’Neal George Oswalt Phyllis A. Pace J. Megan Parjeter Ronna Pernell Larry Pickering Mary Jane Porter Tyler Prahl Steven Prall Dawne Pyles Lisa Regan Chantal J Reuss Keith Rinearson John A. Robinson Ashley Romano Kolbe Roper Stuart Ervin Ross Mary and Ken Ruggles W. Jackson Rushing, III Diane Salamon Klint Schor Lacey Jade Schultz Lynn Schwartz Barbara S. Scott Shane and Sara Scribner Randel and Dana Shadid Mark Sharfman Louise Siddons A. C. Sinesio Lori Smith Shannon Smith Rob Smith Sarah Smith Sandy and Bob Sober

GB Standridge Andy and Sue Moss Sullivan Cheryl Swanson Cindy Swanson Kyle Taylor Rachelyn Teague Sean Terska Cory Thacker Sherwin R. Tibayan BC Trimble Diana and Tom Tunnell Colleen Van Wyngarden Jason Wallace Kate Warren Jeremy Watson Becky Way Debbie Weed Bill and Marisa Wells Dennis and Shellee Wells Nancy Werneke Tom Wester Janie Wester Kayla Whitaker B. J. White Steve Whitfield Liz Williams Maranda Wirtz Jennifer Woods Dean and Kelly Wyatt Ann and Hank Young Tom Young

OVAC news



Gallery Listings Ada


Frank Wick January 11- February 5 Interscholastic February 8-11 Red Ryder February 15- March 18 The Pogue Gallery Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center 900 Centennial Plaza (580) 559-5353

UK/OK: Exploring Traditions in Contemporary Design Through January 3 Lights! Camera! Fashion! The Film Costumes of Edith Head January 22- May 16 Price Tower Arts Center 510 Dewey Ave. (918) 336-4949

Studio 107 Annual Juried Art Show January 20- February 27 Studio 107 Gallery 107 East Main (580) 224-1143



USAO Seven-State Biennial Juried Exhibition Through January 10 Linda Mitchell Exhibition February 6- March 26 The Goddard Center 401 First Avenue SW (580) 226-0909

A Look Through the Lens: Photography through Time January 26- March 13 Edmond Historical Society & Museum 431 S. Boulevard (405) 340-0078

El Reno Rush Hour: Aaron Hauck Through January 29 2009 Gordon Parks Photography Competition Finalist Exhibition February 5-19

Exhibition Schedule

Larry F. Devane Multimedia Lifelong Learning Center Redlands Community College (405) 262-2552

Idabel Recent Acquisitions Through February 27 Lifewell Gallery Museum of the Red River 812 East Lincoln Road (580) 286-3616

Lawton Tom Bliese and Oklahoma Arts Institute January 9- February 27 The Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery 620 D Avenue (580) 357-9526

Norman Bobby Anderson and Sharon Burchett January 15- March 5 Reception January 15, 7-9 Firehouse Art Center 444 South Flood (405) 329-4523 Sooners in the Land of Enchantment: Oklahoma Artists and New Mexico The Creative Eye: Selections from the Carol Beesley Collection of Photographs Through January 3 Revisiting the New Deal: Government Patronage and the Fine Arts 1933-1943 February 6- May 11 Reception February 5, 7-9

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art 555 Elm Ave. (405) 325-4938

Istvan Gallery at Urban Art 1218 N. Western Ave. (405) 831-2874

Oklahoma City

Arte en la Charreria: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture Through January 3 Bonita Wa Wa Calachaw Nuñez: Selected Works Through May 9 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd (405) 478-2250

Works on Paper Through January 2 Function and Design January-March [ArtSpace] at Untitled 1 NE 3rd St. (405) 815-9995 17th Annual Café City Arts Invitational January 29- February 27 City Arts Center 3000 General Pershing Blvd. (405) 951-0000 Mike Larsen: I am very Proud to be Chickasaw Through March 26 Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum 1400 Classen Dr. (405) 235-4458 Audra Urquhart and Kevin Kelly Through January 10 Individual Artists of Oklahoma 811 N. Broadway (405) 232-6060 Suzanne Thomas and Billy Reid Through January 31 Bryan Boone, Scott Henderson, Nanoko Yonemaru February 12- April 30

Louis B. Siegriest (U.S., b. 1899) Indian Court - Apache Devil Dancer, 1939 Serigraph, 36”x25” Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, The University of Oklahoma, Norman; WPA Collection


gallery guide

EK Jeong Through January 31 Julie Miller February 8- April 4 Governor’s Gallery Ryan Cunningham January 11- March 14 East Gallery Mike Klemme January 4- March 7 North Gallery Oklahoma State Capitol Galleries 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd (405) 521-2931 The Dutch Italianates: 17th Century Masterpieces from Dulwich Picture Gallery, London Through January 3 Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Drive (405) 236-3100

Shelley Horton-Trippe & Joe Andoe Reception January 1, 1-10 Paper Love, Linda Mitchell & Martha Green Reception February 5, 6-10 JRB Art at the Elms 2810 North Walker (405) 528-6336 smART Show January 1- 30 Paseo Arts Association Members Show February 5-27 Paseo Art Space 3022 Paseo (405) 525-2688

Shawnee Ancient Bronzes of the Asian Grasslands from the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation January 23- March 28 Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art 1900 West Macarthur (405) 878-5300

Stillwater Benjamin Harjo Jr.: Art and Soul January 13- February 5 Reception January 14, 5-6 Lecture 6-7 Laurie Spencer February 10-March 5 Reception February 11, 5-6 Lecture 6-7 Gardiner Art Gallery Oklahoma State University 108 Bartlett University (405) 744-6016

Tulsa WORN: Functional Art Through January 4 Lovetts Gallery 6528 E 51st St (918) 664-4732

Form in Flux: Paintings by Kristal Tomshany January 8-30 The House of Maps: An Installation by Yiren Gallagher February 5-27 Tulsa Artists Coalition Gallery 9 East Brady (918) 592-0041 Oklahoma Landscapes January 5-31 Memory Lane: Art by Alzheimer’s patients February 2-27 Tulsa Performing Arts Center Gallery Third and Cincinnati (918) 596-2368

Nanoko Yonemaru, Rainy Shopping, Pencil and Ink, at Istvan Gallery in Oklahoma City Feb. 21 - April 30.

Northern Renaissance Prints from the Philbrook’s Collection Through January 10 A Passion for the West Through January 31 The Philbrook Museum of Art 2727 South Rockford Road (918) 749-7941

Become a member of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition! Join today to begin enjoying the benefits of membership, including a subscription to Art Focus Oklahoma. Sustaining $250 -Listing on signage at events -Invitation to private reception with visiting curators -All of below   Patron $100 -Acknowledgement in the Resource Guide and Art Focus Oklahoma -Copy of each OVAC exhibition catalog -All of below   Family $55 -Same benefits as Individual for two people in household   Individual $35 -Subscription to Art Focus Oklahoma -Inclusion in online Virtual Gallery -Monthly e-newsletter of visual art events statewide -Monthly e-newsletter of opportunities for artists -Receive all mailed OVAC call for entries and invitations -Artist entry fees waived for OVAC sponsored exhibitions -Listing in Annual Resource Guide and Member Directory -Copy of Annual Resource Guide and Member Directory -Access to “Members Only” area on OVAC website -Up to 50% discount on Artist Survival Kit workshops -Invitation to Annual Meeting   Student $20 -Valid student ID required. Same benefits as Individual level.


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Detach and mail form along with payment to: OVAC, 730 W. Wilshire Blvd, Suite 104, Oklahoma City, OK 73116 Or join online at

ArtOFocus k l a h o m a Annual Subscriptions to Art Focus Oklahoma are free with membership to the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

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Membership forms and benefits can be found at or by phone (405) 879-2400. Student Membership: $20 Individual Membership: $35 Family/Household Membership: $55 Patron Membership: $100 Sustaining Membership: $250

JANUARY Shelley Horton- Trippe Paintings, Objects & Video

Joe Andoe Video

Opening Reception Friday | 1.01.10 | 1p - 10p

FEBRUARY Paper Love Invited Artists

Linda Mitchell Paintings

Martha Green Mixed Media

Opening Reception Friday | 2.05.10 | 6p - 10p

2810 North Walker Oklahoma City, OK 73103 P : 405 528 6336 W :

Art Focus Oklahoma, January/February 2010  

2010 January/February Art Focus Oklahoma is a bimonthly publication of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition dedicated to stimulating insight...

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